Right band, right crowd, right venue.
Streams of projected matrix-style numbers cascade down the stage, all anchored by a clock ticking arbitrarily. With the lights low and the numbers slowing, the anticipation was palpable. The crowd was a colorful mix—young fans with a chaperone, mid-twenties reminiscing on their high school favorites and my absolute favorite of the evening—the Dad-Bros. One thing they had in common—they were seasoned fans. As the Scottish darlings of Franz Ferdinand took the stage, the cheers of the crowd were so loud that I could feel the banisters of the elegant theater vibrating.
Without wasting a moment, the band launched into the bubbly anthem “Bullet” and had the crowd boogieing immediately. This crowd knew damn near every word—by the time their 2009 hit “No You Girls” hit the silky-smooth chorus, the crowd just about drowned out the band. From the second they took the stage, these guys were radiating positivity and vigor. Live music is built around the give and take between the audience and the artists—the exchanging of energies shapes the performance.
The band had that crackling, swoon-inducing energy we’ve grown to expect from European exports. Although comparable in style and sound to fellow UK-rock fixtures like The Arctic Monkeys and Muse, Franz Ferdinand is decidedly more upbeat. Touching on every studio album they’ve produced, their set was dynamic and extensive. They brought the crowd up with the high-octane anthems “Evil Eye” and “Do You Want To” and then chilled them out with their newest single, the lower-key “Fresh Strawberries”. By the time that the first chords of their mega-hit “Take Me Out” rang out, I didn’t think it could get any better. But Sahara tent be damned, the Dad-Bros and I had one of the best dance parties I’ve ever been part of.
After closing out with the groovy “Outsiders”, the band went off stage for only a brief moment—there was no doubt that an encore was in-store. Despite delivering an electrifying version of crowd favorite “Right Action”, it was the cover of Blondie’s “Call Me” alongside opener Cate Le Bon that stole the spotlight. They closed the evening out with the oh-so-appropriate “Goodbye Lovers & Friends”—a playful move indicative of the good spirit of this band.
Franz Ferdinand will be hanging in the homeland most of the summer, hitting up almost every European festival under the sun. We’re hoping that they’ll hop back across the pond come Fall/Winter, but until then we’ll just have to keep jamming out to Franz Ferdinand’s infectious rock anthems. And you know what? Sometimes you just need to drink a bunch of PBR on a Tuesday and jam out to infectious rock anthems with the resident Dad-Bros. If you can’t get down with that, then I’m afraid you can’t sit with us.